The fascinating story of George V and his cousins, and the family saga that shaped the twentieth century.
During the last days of July 1914 telegrams flew between the King,
the Kaiser and the Tsar. George V, Wilhelm II and Nicholas II, known
in the family as Georgie, Willy and Nicky, were cousins. Between them
they ruled over half the world. They had been friends since childhood.
But by July 1914 the Trade Union of Kings was falling apart. Each was
blaming the other for the impending disaster of the First World War.
'Have I gone mad ' Nicky asked his wife Alix in St Petersburg, showing
her another telegram from Willy. 'What on earth does William mean
pretending that it still depends on me whether war is averted or not!'
Behind the friendliness of family gatherings lurked family quarrels, which
were often played out in public. Drawing widely on previously unpublished
documents, this is the extraordinary story of their overlapping lives, conducted
in palaces of unimaginable opulence, surrounded by flattery and political intrigue.
And through it runs the question: to what extent were the King, the Kaiser and
the Tsar responsible for the outbreak of the war, and, as it turned out, for the
end of autocratic monarchy
A fascinating history. - Publishing News
A fascinating and often hilarious study of European Royalty in the run up to the Great War - Nigel Jones, Literary Review
Proof that good storytelling is a true art fascinating - Caroline Moorehead, The Spectator
A kind of real-life fairytale weird and wonderful - Hilary Spurling, The Observer
Catrine Clay worked for the BBC for over twenty years, directing and producing award-winning television documentaries. She won the International Documentary Award and the Golden Spire for Best History Documentary, and was nominated for a BAFTA. She is the author of King, Kaiser, Tsar, Trautmann's Journey and Labyrinths. She is married with three children and lives in London.